Authorities have identified the man who killed five people in a series of shootings in Denver and Lakewood, Colorado, on Monday night.
The suspect, Lyndon McLeod, 47, was killed by police at the Belmar shopping center in Lakewood after he carried out a series of shootings in at least six locations across the two areas.
McLeod was known by law enforcement, authorities said in a press conference on Tuesday.
“This individual was on the radar of law enforcement, there were two previous investigations into this individual’s actions. Neither of those investigations resulted in state or federal criminal charges,” Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said.
The previous investigations took place in 2020, and early 2021 and will be part of the ongoing investigation regarding Monday’s shooting. Witnesses are still being interviewed by police, who also urged others to come forward if they have further information regarding Monday’s events.
Mcleod held extremist views and had a history of psychiatric episodes, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.
Authorities said they believe McLeod had targeted the specific individuals in Monday’s shooting and that the victims were known to him.
Officials said the incident initially began in Denver, around 5:25 p.m. when three people were shot, leaving two adult women dead and one adult male injured. The injured male was transported to an area hospital where he remains in critical condition but is expected to survive. Police did not identify the three victims.
Reporting by KMGH-TV identified one of the women as Alicia Cardenas, 44, owner of Denver tattoo shop Sol Tribe, and another as Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado.
At 5:31, Denver police were notified of a burglary at a second location on Bannock Street and Sixth Avenue, where McLeod was attempting to break into a building. McLeod got into the building and “persued the occupants” through the residence, which is also part of a business, and fired shots. However, no one was injured at that location, authorities said.
A van was also set on fire just behind the building and police said it appears that McLeod was responsible for starting the fire but they are still investigating that incident.
At roughly 5:45, police received a call about a third shooting nearby, where one adult male was killed inside of his residence there, police said.
Minutes later, Denver police officers who were driving an unmarked vehicle located McLeod’s vehicle, a black, early 2000s model 4 Econoline van.
Police pursued the vehicle after McLeod failed to surrender and gunfire was exchanged between the suspect and one officer, who was not injured. However, McLeod fled again, traveling into Lakewood where he continued his “violent series of crimes.”
Lakewood Police spokesman John Romero said Lakewood police received a call of shots fired at The Lucky 13 tattoo shop just before 6 p.m.
“We got reports of one male, getting out of a similar van to the one that was described. The male then went inside, shot another adult male. That male was shot at the scene,” Romero said. Police have identified the victim as 38-year-old Danny Scofield.
Minutes later at 6:04 p.m., police were able to identify the van near the Wells Fargo in the Belmar shopping center, and attempted to make contact with McLeod who opened fire on officers. Agents returned fire but he was able to flee to the Hyatt Place where he shot a front desk worker, a female, several times. The victim, identified by police as Sarah Steck, 28, was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.
After leaving the hotel, the suspect allegedly came up against a Lakewood police officer who ordered him to drop his weapon. However, McLeod shot and wounded the female police officer, authorities said.
“That agent, courageously, after being shot was able to somehow compose herself and return fire on the suspect, striking him, and eventually, he was also pronounced dead at the scene,” Romero said.
Authorities have not yet released the identity of the officer who shot McLeod but Romero said she is a three-year veteran of the police department and has had surgery at a local hospital for her injuries. She is currently in a stable condition but will need more surgeries in the future.
Police have not publicly identified a motive in the deadly shooting spree.
“This is the holiday season. To have this type of spree take place is not normal for our community,” Pazen said on Tuesday. “We cannot lose sight of the victims in this, the people who are still fighting for their lives, including a Lakewood agent.”